WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Alexandria To Overhaul King Street Metro

Plans call for end to parking spots

Play associated audio
Alexandria is planning to overhaul the King Street metro to make it better representative of Old Town.
Charles Smith: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24415055@N00/4942823099/
Alexandria is planning to overhaul the King Street metro to make it better representative of Old Town.

Kiss and Ride, but don't park. That's the idea behind Alexandria's new $7 million plan to redesign the King Street Metro station.

Under the plans, riders will say 'goodbye' to the 30 parking spaces and 'hello' to new landscaping, bicycle parking, larger bus waiting and layover areas. City officials say having a suburban parking lot is out of place in a metropolitan area, and so they want to reshape the surface parking lot into a transit hub that increases pedestrian safety.

"We've maintained a balance," says city transportation director Rich Baier. "But we think that the balance is tipped more in the pedestrian and the transit and the cyclist sort of favor." Alexandria, which is more urban than neighboring stations like Springfield or Van Dorn, Baier says, should have a more urban transportation hub.

Planning Director Faroll Hamer tells City Council members that the changes are intended to make Old Town less reliant on single-occupancy vehicles.

"They really function to make this a transit hub, and to make the buses and pedestrian access differentiated, easier, and for people getting off the Metro station to immediately find King Street," Hamer says. "As you know, people complain they can't find it very easily."

City leaders say a recent fatality at the Metro station created a need for increased pedestrian safety. They were also looking at a number of other potential improvements, but abandoned the ideas to expedite the project. Items on the chopping block include dynamic message boards at bus shelters and brick sidewalks.

Councilwoman Del Pepper says she's pleased that the brick sidewalks were removed from the plan because she often gets her heels stuck in the cracks, and she knows that many other pedestrians have the same issue.

"That really is a problem, although I know that they are very cute and Old Townish -- Charm-ville, if you will," says Pepper.

NPR

'Game Of Thrones' Evolves On Women In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones showed a real evolution in the way the show portrays women and in the season finale, several female characters ascended to power. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.